***UPDATE***: Shortly after this story was first published, Dan Nelson deleted his Facebook account.***
Former ANTHRAX singer Dan Nelson, who was in the band for nearly two years — from late 2007 until July 2009 — believes that the group's fans "deserve" to hear the unreleased album ANTHRAX recorded with him on vocals. The CD, which was completed in mid-2009 and was originally supposed to be made available in October of that year under the title "Worship Music", was mixed by Dave Fortman, a former member of UGLY KID JOE who has also worked with artists such as MUDVAYNE, EVANESCENCE, and SLIPKNOT.
John Bush, who fronted ANTHRAX between 1992 and 2005, temporarily rejoined the group for a number of shows in late 2009 and early 2010 but stepped aside in May 2010 in order to make room for the return of Joey Belladonna. Belladonna was the lead singer of ANTHRAX from 1984 to 1992, and was considered part of the band's classic lineup (alongside Dan Spitz, Scott Ian, Frank Bello and Charlie Benante), which reunited and toured during 2005 and 2006.
Joey rejoined ANTHRAX last year in time to take part in the first-ever "Big Four" shows in Europe — featuring the biggest names of 1980s thrash metal: METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX — and is currently in the studio laying down his vocals on the band's new album, which is expected to feature reworked versions of many of the songs that were supposed to appear on the Nelson version of "Worship Music".
In a series of postings on his Facebook page, Nelson writes, "I just heard 'Worship Music' for the first time [presumably he means 'first time in a long time.' — Ed.] with my [vocals]. [And] while I understand the 'Big 4' cash grab, I hope the fans get to hear this. THEY MORE THAN DESERVE IT. And, for the record, that's not a knock on Joey; he's gonna sound killer on anything he does... he always has."
He added, "I won't share [the recordings with anyone], out of respect for the band. . . I still respect the band, their families (especially the lil' ones) and what they accomplished, so no leak from me. . . Sad that I still respect them at all, but that's how I was raised... Thanks, mom and pops.
"John Bush is another who is a class act. Many props to John.
"Joey [is a] great singer. [He] deserves support. He works hard in this industry... Much respect.
"Yeah, ['Worship Music' with me on vocals] will [probably eventually] see the light of day. But by then I will be with my OWN FAMILY and won't care. But KNOW that I did, very much so... and believed in both the band and its fans wholeheartedly.
"It's over two years (I know, troll assholes, not long enough) that I will never get back from my life. That I slept, bled and shat (not on Bello) for them [a reference to the widespread false rumor that he was fired from ANTHRAX for 'taking a dump' on a sleeping Frank Bello as a prank. — Ed.]."
In a 2008 interview with Metal Maniacs magazine, ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian stated about Dan Nelson's singing style, "I've compared him to John Bush on steroids because he definitely comes from more of that tone, but also because he's only 31 or 32 years old. He listens to the more extreme side of heavy metal. He was in a lot of bands that were certainly more extreme than ANTHRAX so he's able to take what he has a lot further. That's not to say you're going to hear an ANTHRAX record with death metal or hardcore vocals or anything like that. The guy's a singer and a great singer at that. I'm just saying that he's already got this really powerful singing voice and he's able to take it to a level we've never explored before. We have a bunch of spots on this record where it really works."
When asked if all the music and vocal melodies/lyrics for the new songs had already been "pre-written" for Nelson prior to the singer joining the band, Ian said, "Before Dan, we had ideas for maybe two songs and not even any lyrics yet. Once Dan got involved, that's when the light bulb went off over my head. I wasn't writing anything because I had no focus as far as who was actually going to be singing this stuff. Once I had Dan's voice in my brain it totally opened the door for me writing-wise. It's been really collaborative since then. We all get together, listen to the music and work on the melody lines until everybody is happy. We have two songs done. There's a song called 'Revolution Screams' which is a straight-up thrash tune. There's another called 'Fight 'Em Til You Can't' which sounds like ANTHRAX from 1987 but in 2008. It's total old-school thrash. I'm totally stoked on them!"
ANTHRAX performed a new song, "Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't", with singer Joey Belladonna for the first time during the band's October 8, 2010 concert at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York as part of the Jägermeister Music Tour with SLAYER and MEGADETH. Watch fan-filmed video footage of the performance below.
ANTHRAX debuted "Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't" on May 28, 2008 at Double Door in Chicago, Illinois during the group's first-ever gig with Dan Nelson.
"Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't" with Joey Belladonna - October 8, 2010:
"Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't" with Dan Nelson - May 28, 2008: